When a cure is found to treat mutations, lines are drawn amongst the X-Men, led by Professor Charles Xavier, and the Brotherhood, a band of powerful mutants organized under Xavier's former ally, Magneto.
Selene, a beautiful vampire warrior, is entrenched in a war between the vampire and werewolf races. Although she is aligned with the vampires, she falls in love with Michael, a werewolf who longs for the war to end.
Dr. Bruce Banner, thanks to a gamma ray experiment gone wrong, transforms into a giant green-skinned hulk whenever his pulse rate gets too high. Meanwhile, a soldier uses the same technology to become an evil version of the original.
A robotic warrior from a post-apocalyptic future travels back in time to protect a 20-year old drifter and his future wife from an most advanced robotic assassin and to ensure they both survive a nuclear attack.
Ex-con Jensen Ames is forced by the warden of a notorious prison to compete in our post-industrial world's most popular sport: a car race in which inmates must brutalize and kill one another on the road to victory.
Two mutant brothers, Logan and Victor, born 200 years ago, suffer childhood trauma and have only each other to depend on. Basically, they're fighters and killers, living from war to war through U.S. history. In modern times, a U.S. colonel, Stryker, recruits them and other mutants as commandos. Logan quits and becomes a logger, falling in love with a local teacher. When Logan refuses to rejoin Stryker's crew, the colonel sends the murderous Victor. Logan now wants revenge. Written by
"Wolverine" 's journey is more about the visuals than the character
The superhero genre reached a higher echelon in 2008 with "Iron Man" and "The Dark Knight," and considering the success of 2/3 of the X-Men franchise so far, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" can certainly be held to those standards, especially a movie whose title alone suggests getting right down to its hero's adamantium core.
But "Wolverine" plays more like a spin-off, defining "origins" as the back story and not the psychological workings of the character. It's weak on themes, but loaded on more new mutants with new powers, explosions and plenty of subplots. Basically, it fails where "X-Men 3" did, trying to do too much at once, rushing the plot along and sacrificing the deeper reason audiences are drawn to Hugh Jackman's character other than he's cool and has a crude, sarcastic sense of humor. However, it succeeds much of the same way X3 did and beyond: more explosive action and creative use of an immense visual effects budget. Although director Gavin Hood doesn't bring more insight into the film with his work, he certainly has as good of an eye for the stylish as anyone.
The first sign that you know this movie isn't going to be top tier for superhero flicks is the number of mutants/villains. For a story about one, singular X-man, there are way too many other characters to follow: Col. Stryker is their ringleader, but Sabretooth (Schriber), Wade Wilson/Deadpool (Reynolds), Bolt (Monaghan), Gambit (Kitsch), Wraith (will.i.am), Agent Zero, the Blob and young Cyclops (not to mention a slough of extras) make the film dizzying. Especially at the beginning, we need to see more Wolverine -- it's his movie.
To the film's credit, its quick movement makes it easy to watch and entertaining and there's some surprisingly good comedic timing on Jackman's part for an action movie. Seriously though, it must have been a blast (no pun intended) on the set during action sequences because they actually destroyed everything they possibly could: CGI, real and both. This film is the beginning of what will surely be mind-blowing visual effects at the movies this summer. Hood gives new visual strength to the franchise and provides a much more epic feel to this film -- it's clearly about this grand journey for Wolverine, even if it's more spectacle than introspective.
Surprisingly, the ending was the most satisfying part of the film. All the subplots converge, it makes sense and the loose ends that fans of the first three films will notice get tied up fittingly at the end. For the whole first hour of the film you're juggling Wolverine and Sabretooth's rivalry, Stryker's team of guys with powers, Wolverine's romance with Kayla out in the wilderness, what's happening to the team of guys with powers ... why the heck kid Cyclops is in the movie ... it's not overwhelming, it's just not as enjoyable when you can't focus on one thing or character as much as you'd like. Still, the ending justifies the strange means, at least in terms of the epic battle that ensues.
"Wolverine" is not a travesty for the genre, but it certainly doesn't meet the expectations for a thorough superhero movie experience. You get amped up action and style over meaning and that makes it entertainment more than catharsis. Expect to be entertained and little else and "Wolverine" will satisfy your itch for the summer movie season.
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